Small Demon
Sep 222008
 

As the institutions of the empire crumbled, I spent a glorious fall  morning in the northern provinces tending my bonsai. The smaller of the two pommegranits has survived a bout with fungus & is doing well. I have trimmed the rosmarys’ summer growth to reveal the sinuous structure of their branches. The ficus & the plum sit in a sunny southern window ready for the long cold months. The effects of the crisis will reach us, of course; even in the provinces of the empire we cannot escape the coming chaos. This week, though, we are to have sunny days & cool nights.

  2 Responses to “Mandarin”

  1. great post, joseph. back to basics. me, too. i wrote a letter to a friend and posted it around and then thought hey this is one of those old chinese letters (like the 2 ezra pound translanted in his way the river merchant’s wife and the schoolfriend one) and so it’s back to basics plus the problems of having all this stack of bks & chapbks of the last 40 years choking us up): here it is
    Fri, 19 Sep 2008 11:50:16 -0700 email letter to jim watson-gove

    TROVE OF POEMS LOOKING FOR A HOME from a letter to a friend in the old tradition of the ancient classical chinese poemltr

    jim, great pomes u sent anny ballardini to her site in bozen,north italy http://www.fieralingue.it for her poet’s corner

    “anny ballardini” ,

    great stuff jim,

    many dozens more many more you have as fresh/fine but these’re exemplars
    are billfillers. (good photo you sent, too.of you.)

    i miss you and your motor bike, your miatta, your laugh and still dream of seeing you on your old lovebike that norton w/the oil pan ever ready to park over.

    i think of you and eleanor in your sloop(s) here down on the san francisco bay in south san francisco and redwood and foster cities and you both later in eleanor’s old pink cottage (cobbledcottage) up on the hill above the oakland freeways and bay looking over to san francisco and the bay and golden gate bridges and to the ocean (what a rich visual history and still future).

    remember that big setup of trains and tracks in your garage so exciting and crazyfying for me as richard and all the rest acted like a wild crowd at drunken horseraces?

    then you retired as electrical/telecommunictions engineer at sprint pulling up stakes and taking your arts you and eleanor and erecting a new tent way WAY up there in the pacific ocean sea
    west of seattle and vancouver where that great wetforest of the olympic penninsula swells even further west.

    WHY DID YOU GO!

    you are suffused with the beauty of things. then you started flying again, and a new boat, and and all your childre grand childr and even now great grand and eleanor’s boys and her grand(s? — are there more there yet–eddie as well as rob?)

    well we miss u-both. someday when we get twobucks and the time and courage richard and i will trek up there to you and eleanor and sit on james broughton’s bench in fron of lehani’s and i will blow my nose breathe in and watch for storms and then go and see beth vevea in seattle and then up to north of vancouver to see my cousin katie and her husband the forrester.

    then i will nudge richard and say it’s time to go home to our co-op ‘freedom west’ here on fulton where we’ve been jammed into since the 70’s

    and see if we can’t make some room if i can find

    SOME WAY TO GET SOMEONE TO CATALOG AND TAKE ALL THESE POETRY CHAPBKS AND SLIMVOLUMES BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BIGGEST AND MOST
    WORTHLESSLY VALUABLE TREASURE ON THE
    NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COAST WHERE
    EVERYTHING COSTS THE EARTH IS WORTH
    NOTHING BUT I VALUE LIKE RHAPSODY. &

    there are more and more paintings and drawings and richard is always getting bits from the oddest places and friends like you and eleanor. when we go up there we want to get a group of eleanor’s pots. i dream of those pots after your photos.

    ed

    (who has to begin work in 57 minutes at stacey’s bookstore now 85 –the store: i’m 71).
    (i got up this morning early again–before 6–again: makes me like a xombie sometimes as work — just as well as i get my sugar highs that explode into ‘excessive’ personality one boss years back once when dryingout from his much toooversauced middleage said crankily)

    [ps anybody got any ideas? before the waters rise and we have to move up market street 30 feet from current waterlevel to the foot of mount parnassus with our canoe boatfront entrance until the time yellowstone blows and the whole system
    goes piano.]
    FISH IN A NET

    My life is your story.
    The where’s and when’s keep turning.
    A spinning plate half-dipping
    into the Pacific Ocean here at Land’s End.
    We are on this tilting/raked stage
    where great ships foundered.
    Their great sentences of life, death—
    unfinished symphonies: the future
    out there our audience
    who’ve driven in to watch.
    Ugly is a sharp paradigm shift.
    Death an epistemological rupture.
    Praise for a tractor, dancing
    for chump change. Red armpits.
    Earth jimjams a jungle, diamond skies,
    long-nailed dogs cut bark, tree
    rats scurry in canopies.
    Telephone call, then a summary, a
    sea change, playground happenings.
    The wheel is round, life pushes.
    Photography winds over time.
    Over the mind a brown shale.
    Everyone there is here.
    It will take a lifetime to flower,
    to fly, to sail this sea this thickening
    light here where I hear voices
    under the surface of consciousness
    the bungled aspirations
    with here now leprosy as a model.
    Roomtone, mouthfeel,
    reordering parts, rationing emotions.
    Grim ire, harmony’s trigger, November.
    Ripening memories pressing upward.
    Death ship for new sowing.
    Thickening light a sea scar.
    Stardust a diminishing gusher.
    Milk as it pinkens sunrise, sunset.
    Roses silt down into a lake of sleep.

    © Edward Mycue

  2. the bonsai…this is a pleasant state of mind and retreat from the wider world both

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.